Monday, March 9, 2009

The story of Dru – a historic tale for Purim.

Regrettably not been a comedian, not even remotely, all I can offer is a short story from the history of Jewish humor.
It is a story of an unintended rescue and an almost rescue.

It is the story a men by the name of Asher Alther Abba Aharon Druyanov, or Dru, for short, as I rather call him.

Dru was an Israeli Anthologist at the beginning of the 20th centaury, who in the 1920’s went to Europe to make an anthology of Jewish jokes and humor. And as you may think, there was plenty to record.
And Dru, so it seems, was the right kind of mixture of book warm nurde and an appreciator of good humor to do the job.

With one problem, may be, – guts.

His devotion was commendable; by 1933 he had finished, gathering material for 4 volumes, from which he published 3 in 1938. Thus saving Jewish humor from Hitler.

But as great as it sounds, there is always a ‘but’.
And this but was Dru’s decision not to publish the forth volume on grounds that “These are thing that are not supposed to be said in public.”
Ouch! .
Why “Ouch”?
If you didn’t get it, you are bigger geeks then I’m.

The forth volume was about dirty jokes.
Because of 1930s PC, good old Dru being still a bit of a square, or publishing house pressure, or whatever other reason, Druyanov’s missing forth volume became known in Jewish literature as ‘Druyanov’s missing forth volume’.

How it disappeared? It is apart of the mystery.
Good old Dru died that year, 1938, and afterwards no one bothered to look for that book, so eventually it vanished. And in it one of the world’s largest collection of filthy jokes.
How many?
No one knows. But if the published volumes had a total of 3120 jokes, the missing forth couldn’t have more then a thousand.
One thousand missing dirty Jewish jokes, because Dru said: “These are things that are not supposed to be said in public.”
Can you here the Jewish comedian desperate for new material crying: “You supposed to say those things in public.”

But alas Dru is gone and the book is gone.
All attempts to find it came up with Gurnisht, that’s Yiddish for nada.
And the book is another missing Jewish treasure.
Will it ever be found?
That will be nice, filthy disgusting and obnoxious, but nice.
But given what Tel Aviv has been through since 1938, the bombings, the floodings, the massive ill thought and ill heart reconstruction, the chances of a miracle are truly miraculous.
But who knows, may be like the Arc of the Covenant, it is hiding somewhere, waiting for a rock to roll over and the light of day to shine on it.

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